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As a budding writer, you are excited to share your work with the world. With your manuscript at hand, you begin seeking publishers. However, you soon get the dreaded rejections. Between the pain of being turned down and the determination to publish your work, you hear about self-publishing!

You are greatly encouraged because this means you can still publish your own work without having to go through established publishers. As thrilling as this may be, you soon realise that the decision to do so is also unnerving. You will be in charge of your book project from start to when it lands on the readers’ hands or smart gadget.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you embark on the journey.

1. Invest in Your Book

A book that will capture the eye of the readers needs creative design, illustrations and editing. It involves dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. You need to invest both your time and finances in your book or you will release a book that no one is interested in.

Give yourself more time than you think you will need and have enough finances to see you through the publishing process.

2.  Build an Email List

It is an exercise in futility to publish a book and not let people know that it exists. One of the most significant actions you must undertake is to market your book. An email list allows you to tell people about your project.  Creating an email list will require very little of you. You can offer something like a service in return for a potential customer’s email address. For example, if you are writing a fitness book, you can offer a fitness plan which requires the recipient to share their email address.

3. Start Marketing Early

Marketing your book earlier makes it easier to sell once released because people will be waiting for it. Begin a year or six months prior to the book release. Make use of your writing communities, social media platforms and email list to help you get through to the relevant market. As you get closer to the release date, engage in marketing campaigns through blog posts, articles, and podcasts.

4. Hire Experienced Professionals

Just because you are self-publishing, does not mean you become an expert in the entire publishing process. You need to involve professionals such as copy editors, proofreaders, graphic designers and illustrators in the project. With a professional, you are bound to get exquisite service which will ensure your book looks the part.

5. Keep Working

Self-publishing is not a shortcut to the traditional publishing process. It is hard work. Learn quickly from the mistakes, dust yourself off from disappointments and try again. Seek the counsel and support of those who are miles ahead of you in the self-publishing journey and keep learning from them.

Now, get to work! Won’t you?

Jane Masila 

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